Objective: Yoga and relaxation techniques have traditionally been used by nonmedical practitioners to help alleviate musculoskeletal symptoms. The objective of this study was to collect controlled observations of the effect of yoga on the hands of patients with osteoarthritis (OA).
Methods: Patients with OA of the hands were randomly assigned to receive either the yoga program or no therapy. Yoga techniques were supervised by one instructor once/week for 8 weeks. Variables assessed were pain, strength, motion, joint circumference, tenderness, and hand function using the Stanford Hand Assessment questionnaire.
Results: The yoga treated group improved significantly more than the control group in pain during activity, tenderness and finger range of motion. Other trends also favored the yoga program.
Conclusion: This yoga derived program was effective in providing relief in hand OA. Further studies are needed to compare this with other treatments and to examine longterm effects.